Caprice Young, a former Los Angeles Unified School Board President, has agreed to a two-year contract to run the financially troubled ICEF Public Schools.
ICEF's 15 small charter schools in South Los Angeles send most of their black and Latino students to college. The company, though, was on the verge of shutting down earlier this year, but it ended up laying off 75 people as part of a 20 percent cut to its budget.
Young says the group didn’t adequately manage its fast growth.
"One of the things people ask me is, ‘Wow, there must have been somebody on the take for the finances to get so bad.’ And the truth is there wasn’t. There was just bad judgement," she said.
Young’s secured nearly $3 million in philanthropic donations to keep the schools open. But she’ll face tough choices next year if the state cuts school funding. She’s already asked the LAUSD for help.
She vows to keep the mostly state-funded South LA campuses open, she said, to meet the high parent demand for charter schools.